iOS Annoyances

I jumped the gun a little early and un-jailbroke my phone. I've been running stock iOS 5.1.1 for about 8 days now. I didn't have any special reason to do this early, other than that I'd like to try out the OTA update process whenever iOS 6 drops.

Since then, I've noticed a definite speed increase in regards to typical usage. Apps seem to load faster, the lockscreen rarely hangs, and keyboard taps feel more responsive. I've even noticed a marked increase in battery life, which is great.

But it's not all a bed of roses. I'm remembering exactly why I jailbroke in the first place, and I put together a list of things about iOS that irritate me or could use some added functionality. I would hope that someone at Apple reads this and passes it along, but I'm just some guy without a lot of clout so there's no reason to expect such a thing. Anyway, here we go:

Notification Center

  • On the lockscreen, you can't mark items as 'Read' or even delete the alerts. All you can do is swipe right on a particular alert and it will unlock the phone and take you to that app.
  • You can delete the alerts from the pull-down Notification Center menu once you're logged into the phone, but even that can't be done on an individual basis; you have to tap the 'X' icon for an entire group of notifications (i.e. all SMS messages, or all emails, or all Facebook notifications, etc) and then tap the 'Clear' button that appears in order to make the notifications disappear. And doing so still doesn't mark the items as read within those apps, so you still have to open them afterward.
  • Let's say I've already read a series of emails on my desktop machine. These emails are now marked as 'Read' on the desktop AND within the iPhone email client as they should be, and yet when I sign into my phone, I still get a bunch of different alerts at the top of the screen about stuff I've already read. Pointless.
  • There should be easier access to certain toggles at all times, for things like wifi, airplane mode, volume, brightness, bluetooth, etc.
  • The top-screen notifications are simply too big, and they interfere with usability. If I need to tap something at the top of an app screen, I either have to wait for the notification to go away, or I can pull down the Notification Center menu a little bit and then flick it back up to dismiss the notification.

The fixes: LockInfo, NCSettings, and SmallBanners.

Email/SMS/Contacts

  • There is still no 'Quick Reply' or 'Quick Compose' functionality within iOS for things like SMS or email.
  • I'd like to have photos next to entries in the Contacts list.

The fixes: biteSMS and Cyntact.

Homescreen

  • There's still no way to get rid of the Newsstand icon or hide it within a folder, since it is treated like a folder itself.
  • Perhaps they could allow us to have folders within folders. That would fix the issue above, and also allow gamers that have a ton of games to keep a single folder of Games with various folders inside for the different genres (RPG, Card, Racing, etc).
  • Folders are simply too limiting by only allowing 12 apps at a time. I want functionality where folders are like mini-homescreens, each with the ability to contain multiple pages of apps.
  • I wish I could have 5 icons on the dock. With only 4, there's not a lot to visually differentiate the dock from the rest of the homescreen. Also, I would bet that people are more likely to have 5 apps they use all the time and not just 4 (at least, that's true in my case). The OCD part of me also likes having one of the icons on the dock centered, which acts as my most-used icon. It's kinda like how some apps have a center button on their bottom toolbar where the main functionality exists (i.e. the 'Take Photo' button in Instagram, the 'Create Note' button in Evernote, etc).
  • The multitask tray is pretty limited, and really only useful for switching between the last 2 (maybe 3) apps, or accessing media controls sometimes. A better option might be something like Multifl0w, which treats apps kind of like Safari tabs that you can browse between, maybe even with the added effect of having live previews of whatever the backgrounded apps are doing. Even if the multitask tray stayed the same as it is right now, it would also be nice if I could swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access it instead of double-clicking the home button. I feel like my home button will be worn down much quicker because of this thing.
  • The multitask tray also cannot be used in landscape. If you're looking at something in landscape and open the tray, it forces you to switch to portrait.
  • I'd like to be able to move multiple icons on the homescreen at the same time.

The fixes: NoNewsIsGoodNews, Folder Enhancer, Five Icon Dock, Multifl0w, Zephyr, Switcherland, and MultiIconMover.

Other

  • I wish I could have different sound profiles for everything. For example, it would be nice to have my ringtone and my SMS tone at different volume levels, because some of my ringtones are quieter than others and I need to turn them up to a level that can sometimes make my SMS tone unbearably loud. Also, different apps should have different volumes from one another. When I switch from Instacast (where I usually have to turn the volume up to hear people speak), to Spotify, the music can be crazy loud at first.
  • Game Center is still an abomination of design. It's not the skeuomorphism; the thing is just garish in general. It should look more like Xbox Live's interface or something.

I'm not aware of fixes for either of these things yet.

Overall, I'm still happy to be using iOS, and there are still some cool things built-in, but without these particular additions it just feels like a good OS and not a great one.